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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Working on basic casting with my dog and I know he knows the casts. But now he has started anticipating he casts. During a basic three handed/baseball casting drill with the dog sitting at the pitchers mound he has started to lift his butt and shift in which ever direction he thinks the cast is going to be. Sit-shift-sit, etc. I realize this is a violation of sit, but he's solid otherwise. Just during this drill that it occurs.

Any suggestions on how to fix this?

My attempt to fix it so far has been to sit him and praise for sitting, then instead of giving him a cast ill walk out and pet him, move him, etc. just so he dosent know if its a OB drill or a casting drill. Ill do a couple reps like this then a cast or two, repeat.
 

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Make sure you don't fall into a pattern with him....ex back-left-right-back-left-right.....he will learn it

Other than that as soon as he jumps sit-nick-sit him,and then cast him opposite of the direction he "anticipated". This will work as long as you aren't giving him a cue that is actually causing him to jump and guess the cast. Also, if he does jump or anticipate, make sure that when he sits that he sits directly facing you and not turned slightly towards on pile or the other.

One more thing you may want to think about is simply moving on to the next step in your program, generally force to the pile and then the t drill if you are sure that he significantly understands the basic casting-- good luck
L
 

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Any suggestions on how to fix this?
Yes. One fundamental of of training is to be consistent without being predictable.

This sounds very simple (and it is) but that doesn't mean it's easy.:) Right now your dog knows just what is coming up; a cast onto a retrieve. It's time to break that connection in his mind and introduce a degree of uncertainty.

Currently you are doing the right thing, but not taking it far enough IMO. When you set the drill up, just call him in to you off the pitchers mound and do something utterly unrelated to retrieving. Heel work, sit / stay, lie down, whatever. Only when you've gone through those routines should you sometimes send him; perhaps one in four times(?).

You need to break the link that says "this is what we are going to do" and change the dogs expectation into "now pay attention; do just what I tell you".

Eug
 

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Without knowing it most people telegraph their motions.
It could be something very subtle but the dogs still notice so it's careful not to be sloppy. For example you may have a dog that seemingly is not taking your casts properly but is actually moving early as soon as you move your foot but before your hand is actually extended so he never sees the actual cast.
So, stand still, hold both hands in the prayer position palms together close to your chest , feet slightly apart and whistle in your mouth. Go to work from there. Hand and forearm will normally be the first thing to move and preferably cast slowly without that quick stab the sky motion.
 

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Go the other way or... slow-waaaaaay-down. I'm not an expert (dear Lord... anyone who knows me knows that...) but this is a mistake I was making, getting into the dog's rhythm, and she's loves the run-and-gun game. I have to force myself to slow down, refuse to give her instant gratification she wants. (HA! just try to remember that at the line! Note to self: Slow down!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the input folks!

I tried slowing down, just stand there and wait, and he just kept shifting little by little. I also tried a nick-sit correction, but it didnt help either. So far the sit, and OB mixed with casts seems to be going best. I've never really paid attention to subtle body movments, but I'll definately pay more attention now.

I'm not sure he even knows hes doing it...
 

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I'm not sure he even knows hes doing it...
My guess is that is the dog's perspective of you. Breck's assesment is probably spot on.

If he looks at you from the field and you shift to the right or left or dip a shoulder he learns that movement as part of your cast. The dog is watching your whole body, not just your arms. This is even more exagerated when distance increases.

Bert
 

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Without knowing it most people telegraph their motions.
Excellent point made by Breck Get someone to check you out or set up a video camera.

Another dodge with the drill is to introduce a fourth bird lobbed over your shoulder as the last in the sequence. Occasionally walk backwards and call him on to it. Again, try to be consistent but not predictable.

Eug
 

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I hesitated to write this, but decided since it worked for me here's what I did and why. First of all, a dog that "jumps the gun" is weak in control and focus. He's not doing what you want him to do and basically out of control. Therefore, to correct this poor expectation, training must present situations which alter thinking. It could be any one of several things such as he "thinks he knows better than you", or lacks patience", or "sees more to your movement than you realize" and/or "you are too predictable". It really doesn't make any difference, it simply boils down to "Are you in charge?"

There are several things that can restore balance. As was mentioned, a varied cadence to each cast is effective. Several years ago, after some excellent advice from Missy Heard, my routine on blinds was changed to counts of at least five to ten before giving any cast (and ten seconds is a long, long time when you first start doing this). Apparently, Eckett is a stickler for this. ;)

Now as for the movement issue, here's where I went a bit "out of the box". I routinely give my dogs "extra motion". I might move my head, shrug my shoulders or lean a bit. If you do this close in at first, a quick "no!.....sit.....with attitude" soon teaches them to realize "the arm is all they need to look for" and waiting is part of our teamwork approach. I wanted them to react and learn to not be "faked out" by their interpretation of the situation. They need a clear picture of what counts (and what doesn't).

Once this "who is in control" issue is decided, the dog becomes more in tune with exactly what they should be looking for.....a consistent arm motion indicating the cast. If they see and learn how to deal with potential distractions, a responsive and focused dog will soon think, "I am ready when you ask and always available."

Precision often requires expecting and eliminating "guess work".
 

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What Kwick said.

I also throw in loud sniffs through my nose, coughs, and other noises along with what my wife calls "the twitches". Good way to manufacture opportunities for meaningful corrections.
 
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